Pakistan PM Shahid Khaqan Abassi frisked at US airport
28 March 2018
Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on a 'private trip' to the US to visit his ailing sister was reportedly frisked at the US airport, causing yet another embarrassment to the country and further straining its relations with Washington.
Abbasi was forced to undergo a routine security check at the US airport, a video of which has since then gone viral.
The video shows Abbasi dressed in a maroon polo tee shirt and black trousers putting on his belt and picking up his coat and bag after clearing the security, and walking away moments later.
The incident took place last week at the JFK airport in New York, amidst reports that Trump administration is considering banning visas and other sanctions on people in the Pakistani government.
Abbasi, although on a private trip to visit his ailing sister, however, met US vice-president Mike Pence in what was also an unscheduled meeting.
Abbasi, was bluntly told that Pakistan has to contribute and engage further in addressing worldwide concerns about its nurturing of terrorist groups, reported The Times of India.
The incident has infuriated Pakistani media, which also slammed Abbasi for not lodging any protest or complaints of sorts with the US authorities' treatment meted out to him and letting the people of the country down.
The incident also coincides US move to place seven Pakistani companies under sanctions, putting them on its "Entity List" – which makes it harder for them to operate in the country, regarding their alleged links to nuclear trade.
Since January 2018, the US administration under President Donald Trump suspended funding worth nearly $2 billion to Pakistan.
The US has been increasing pressure on Pakistan since last year when Trump announced his new South Asia policy, demanding that Pakistan take action against safe havens for terrorists on its soil, which the US claims is affecting the war efforts in Afghanistan and the peace in the overall region.
According to US's Foreign Policy magazine, the Trump administration is 'weighing unprecedented political penalties' on Pakistan for harbouring Afghan militants waging war on the US-backed government in Afghanistan.
"The options under consideration include revoking Pakistan’s status as a major non-NATO ally, permanently cutting off the US military aid that was suspended two months ago, and even imposing visa bans or other sanctions on individuals in the Pakistani government deemed responsible for providing support to the militants," the publication said.